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tv   Disrupt With Karen Finney  MSNBC  December 1, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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you should listen to this guy. [ female announcer ] with allstate you get great protection and a great price, plus an agent! drivers who switched saved an average of $498 a year. call now and see how much you can save. just a few more ways allstate is changing car insurance for good. [ female announcer ] call an allstate agent and get a quote now. thanks for disrupting your afternoon. i'm karen finney. changing big rules on big money politics, and a few thing that disrupters can all be thankful for this year. that's all coming up. >> folks every step of the way, but we're going to keep going and this website is going to get fixed. >> a big weekend for the future landmark health care regulation. >> the white house says it's meeting its goals, working smoothly for the vast majority of users. >> substantial progress has been made. >> it's going to get better. it already better today.
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>> the health care law is not just a website. >> in congress we have people that are standing on the sidelines rooting for failure. >> i look at the list of bills that you have sponsored there is not one that offers a solution to the current problems except to get rid of the current law. that enough? >> that's the only solution that will work. >> people want health care. >> three months from now, a huge number of people who didn't have health insurance are going to have it. >> this is just beginning, the disaster of obama care. >> they don't have an alternative. >> we should not live in a country where people are going bankrupt just because they get sick. >> this is about making sure people can live. >> we've got lot to talk about today in the world of politics. but we want to begin with an update on the new york city train derailment which occurred shortly after 7:00 this morning in the bronx area. four believe ready dead, and more than 60 have been injured. we're expecting a press
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conference in the next half hour from the ntsb. and we'll bring that to you live when that happens. nbc's kristen dahlgren is at the scene of the crash. kristen, what's the latest there? >> reporter: well, like you said, we're waiting for the ntsb to brief us so we can get the latest update on numbers, and also, really, their investigation is well under way now. they've been on scene for several hours. they're looking at a few things. they're trying to come up with the train's black box so they can get some of the data that was recorded by that. they have been throughout the day, investigators here in new york talking with the passengers who were on board that train. also with the conductor and the engineer. we also heard from the governor of new york earlier, and he said that it appears at this point like it was either speed or operator error. this is an area of the tracks that the train goes around a pretty severe curve. usually trains would slow down from 70 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour. it was pulling into an area where a station. and so the train should have
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been going much slower than we're hearing from people who were on the train who said it appeared to be going too fast. also witnesses who heard it here many their apartments around. and they heard this screeching noise. and one person said it sounded like a plane was actually coming into his apartment. and they say it just sounded very different than the trains they hear going past here every day. so the investigation is under way that as the area is beginning to cope with that tragedy, four dead, as you said, 67 injured there at local hospitals. there were 11 in critical condition. none of those injuries appeared earlier to be life threatening so that is some good news. but, again, four families tonight of three men and one woman dealing with the fact that they lost loved ones on this train here today, karen. >> and kristen, have they set up any call-in number for those who may be concerned that a loved one was among the injured? >> yeah, there is a local
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number. they've also set up a family center locally here where anyone who is concerned can call, can go there to try to find out about their loved one. i talked to one woman who lives around here earlier today. she heard the crash and then she thought my daughter takes that train in. and she thought she was on it. so she described those panicked moments as a mother thinking that perhaps her daughter was on it. she was able to track her down. so she says for her, the end result was good. a lot of people also pointing out, karen, that this was on a sunday. granted, after thanksgiving. so a lot of people traveling. but they say it could have been so much worse if it was during the monday morning commute. there would have been so many more people on that train. and so really, this tragedy could have been much worse if it were just 24 hours later. >> all right. thank you, kristen dahlgren. again, the national transportation safety board is expected to brief us with the latest details at 4:30 this afternoon. and we'll bring you that presser live. and now, though, we're going
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to take a shift to the world of politics. night and day, that is how the user experience on the website is being described as compared to its october 1 launch. today was the administration's self-imposed deadline for progress after a rocky roll-out, promising the site would run smoothly for the vast majority of users seeking insurance. in an eight-page report released this morning, the white house outlined the progress that has been made, including an increase in user capacity to 50,000 people at a time, and 800,000 per day. now while they acknowledged the site remains a work in progress, they are confident in their ability to make improvements. here is thing. for more than 100,000 people, the affordable care act is already working. and millions more long before the website even launched. so why aren't we hearing more of those stories? it's kind of become a tale of two obama cares, depending upon what you're reading and who you're watching. one could easily get two very
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different perspectives of the president's signature health care law. inside the d.c. beltway, headlines and chatter have focused almost exclusively on the website, the glitches, internal finger-pointing, and the politics of the roll-out. democrats facing tough races in 2014 started to backtrack, while republicans twisted this into yet another opportunity to question the president's competence. a "new york times" story this morning shed light on just how much internal turmoil there has been in the last two months as officials make it more about politics than policy. but outside of washington we're hearing and seeing a very different experience. true stories from small towns and cities across the country, like that of small business owner from san jose who realized under the new plan he could save $5,000 per year on health insurance. and that would be enough to cover his family of four and offer insurance to his workers. now inside the beltway, they focus on low enrollment numbers and canceled insurance plans. but outside the beltway, in
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addition to gop governors who are blocking medicaid funds, you find people like butch matthews, a long-time arkansas republican who came to love the health care plan after he realized it would save him a whopping 13,000 a year. why aren't we hearing a more balanced picture, not only about how the website is working, but about how the policy is being implemented in some areas effectively, and effectively blocked by conservatives in other areas. joining mow maine now julie pace, the associated press white house correspondent and james peterson, a professor alley high university and msnbc contributor. thanks to you both for joining me. >> thanks, karen. >> so julie, i want to start with you, because today, you know, high stakes day. this was the day. there was a conference call earlier this morning. i don't know if you participated in that call. but the reports out of it seem to suggest that in terms of the goals that the white house had set for today, they feel like they're in pretty good shape. >> absolutely. i think the message on this
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conference call this morning was essentially that the worst is over with the website problems. but that there will still be issues that will come up. no one expects that everything has been resolved and everything is perfect. you know, it is true, if you do log on to this site, and i know a lot of us have been doing this over the past couple of months, the user experience does seem to have improved. the wait times are down. the page simply isn't crashing as it did before. the question, though, is going to be whether people who tried to log on in the first two months, because they wanted health care, because they wanted to see if they could get lower prices, whether they'll come back, or have they been so frustrated that they'll never go back again. when we talk about low enrollment numbers, yes, it's true that that is only one piece of the story. but in order for the program to work, they do need to hit certain targets on their enrollments, and they do need to have certain types of people enrolled, particularly the young, healthy people. they're the people that they're the most worried about making sure they come back to the site. >> games, to the point, it also
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strikes me the website is but one mechanism as we talked about through which people can enroll there have been really interesting stories. i've not seen many of them in the inside the beltway papers about efforts outside the beltway to actually block, for example, the navigators who are trying to help people enroll. so i feel like i'm not even sure sometimes when we're talking so heavily about the website if that is really the metric that should be getting so much weight in terms of determining not just the effectiveness of the roll-out but the effectiveness of actually reaching people to try to then get them into the system. >> indeed. i agree with your skepticism here, karen. in a sense, if the website had worked with little or no glitches, there would have been no story at all. but the fact that it had glitches and had all these problems, it's become a huge problem. an it has been politicized to the extent that i think it obscures our value and the significance of this particular policy. so thinking about different ways of doing end arounds the
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websites are important, either through the phone or through going directly to a certain insurance agencies. i do think the media has to do a little better job of covering this in a little more balanced way, thinking about some of the success stories. but at the end of the day for me, it's really important for us to understand that this is a reflection of how our government is in some ways dysfunctional. one, the time that it took for the obama administration to actually get the website up and running is a function of partisan politics here, because they probably could have focused on it a little bit more in the administration's tenure if they weren't so focused on getting the exchanges set up and trying to compromise and get really republican governors and republican legislators to get on board with the affordable care act. and so were political trade-offs made very early on that affected the roll-out. that's not me making excuses for it. it's reflective of the ways in which our political system doesn't work. so a big policy like this requires all hands on deck.
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and we just haven't had that yet. >> and, you know, look, julie. i obviously worked in the clinton administration so i know a little something about health care reform and trying to get it done. it is not easy. i've been very personally disgusted that the president has had to be the one out there defending it and apologizing and that behind the scenes we now know there has been a lot going on in terms of the staff level. but i feel like the staff did not serve him well. and it strikes me, do you think if we had the president able to be out there talking a little bit more, it's not even the success stories, but again, it's the idea that people are getting health care for the first time for some of them in their lives. and it seems to me that that's what the president should be out there talking about, not having to come in front of you guys and explain about the website. >> i'm sure he would much rather be talking about success stories than talking about problems with the website. but as you said, when you do have things that are happening at a staff level that then percolate up and eventually in
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any organization you're going to look to the boss. he is the boss here, and look for answers. he does have a responsibility to come out to apologize for this, to try to explain what happened. but i think you are going to start to see a shift away from that, from the white house. you already saw that today with this conference call. you saw it from some democrats who have been on some of the talk shows. this is going to try to become more of a narrative about people who are getting coverage. >> right. >> examples of where this is going to work. and that's what they have to do in order to really sell this to those folks that i mentioned who they really need to come back. they need to change the narrative about health care. >> right. and james, also, the polls show that people want health care. kaiser family foundation, 47% of americans want to expand or keep the law. we know, though, the challenge going forward is going to be those millennials. and ezra klein had a piece today the administration needs, what it is, at least 40% of those enrolled to, if we can roll the
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teleprompter so i can tell you the young healthy adults. you know, every once in a while people take a nap around here. it's fine. so basically, we need 40% of those young adults for that bottom line goal. and then as julie points out, there is a percentage of those people who came and left that we need to -- that they need to have come back. >> yeah. let's hope that they will come back. and just to be clear, this is not like an obama care theory here. this is just how insurance risk is balanced out in any kind of system like this, that you need younger healthier folk to buy into the system in order to share the risk of the entire system. i would add that the challenge of getting more americans insured is much more important. because, remember, we're essentially already paying for those folk in the most expensive ways. we pay for our uninsured already. i hope that that message can get out there, along with understanding the balanced risk that makes for a more healthy nation. but also will make for a more
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affordable system. >> right. >> we'll be able to control health care costs better if you get those young folk, who also by the way do sometimes unfortunately have serious health challenges. it's not just them paying for older folks. sometimes young people have ailments that are unforeseen. sometimes young folk have health challenges that are unforeseen. for that reason alone it's important for us to get the word out for everybody to consider the affordable care act and understand that it is a civic responsibility in some ways when you think about the ways in which the health care costs weigh down our economy. >> you know, julie, final question to you. i'm curious if there was conversation this morning about the millennials, if there are any specific efforts under way. there was a pole just out that showed 70% of millennials think it's a god thing. they like the plan. they believe in it. they want it to work. but i'm wondering if there are any specific plans to really kind of go after that group. >> so there are some specific plans. a lot of these were things that the white house and the administration had been hoping to have been focusing on at this
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point. obviously that. >> got sidetracked by the website issues. they have lined up whole bunch of people in hollywood, celebrities who are going to be tweeting about health care, encouraging people to sign up. there is some pretty specific outreach programs that actually in some ways mod typical outreach from the obama presidential campaigns. >> right. >> to physically go and find these people and get them to sign up. so i think there is going to be a lot more focus on those efforts if the website problems, as they say, are really resolved. >> all right. well, we shall see. thank you, julie pace and james peterson. >> thank you. >> thanks, karen. coming up, even a possible deal to reduce the nuclear threat is fodder for the right wing to attack president obama. and later, can you believe that karl rove's group spent more money on politics in 2012 than they may have initially admitted? no! say it ain't so. [ mom ] hey guys.
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doesn't it feel like it's been nothing but obama care, obama care, obama care for the past few weeks in washington? so now that the website is working, maybe we can finally get back to some of the other business at hand. with a budget committee deadline just a couple of weeks away, president obama will focus on the economy in a speech at the center for american progress on wednesday. and let's not forget that he's got two major foreign policy initiatives that he is pursuing. on iran, the landmark six-month deal is just the first step toward a comprehensive plan for that country's nuclear program. it will be a difficult process, especially with the gop making matters worse by attacking the deal and threatening new sanctions. in afghanistan, negotiations over a long-term security deal are coming down to the wire as hamid karzai's resistance forces the white house to consider it's something it did not necessarily
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expect, the zero option, which would mean leaving zero u.s. troops in afghanistan. joining me now to success victoria di francesca soto, and nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. thanks to you both for joining me. >> thanks, karen. >> kristen, i know we don't know a lot what the president's speech on the economy will be. i assume this will be to economy, domestic issues, jobs, particularly as we lead into what may be an ugly budget showdown. >> absolutely i anticipate he will map out his budget priorities, as you point out, karen. we are heading into what will likely be an ugly budget showdown. the president, the white house wants to pivot away from all of this discussion and debate about health care as well. so this sort of helps him do that. and remember, the president has always said the economy is his first priority. if you look at the polls from americans, they are saying this is what they want to be talking about. and remember, karen, just earlier this week he was talking
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about immigration reform. that's also one of his key priorities in the certainly agenda. i think one of the things that has happened because of all of the focus on the website is that some of his other priorities clearly for the second term have been overshadowed by that. so the administration really trying to pivot, really trying to turn the page. >> right. >> hoping that they can refocus and have a shot at some of those other agenda items. >> victoria, what strikes me than is talking about the economy, jobs, his priorities, i mean, that really gives the president an opportunity to have a real -- a stronger point of contrast. when you're talking about not talking food stamps right after thanksgiving, as you head to christmas, and you're talking about a paul ryan plan that would be cutting food stamp programs, that is a good contrast for the president to try to pivot to. >> you know, in politics, we forget that nothing lasts for 100 years. and even though we're in the midst of the obama care debacle and how it was rolling out, we know that ahead of that, we have
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all of these economic and foreign policy issues that the president still has to tackle. we're still a year away from the midterm elections. so there is a lot of work to be done. eis not a lame duck president yet, even though there is some rumbling about that. >> right. >> there is a lot of work to do. he has to roll up his sleeves because it's not going to be easy. he has a congress that is going to be increasingly more difficult as we get closer to the election. but i do think that he is going to have a little bit more room to maneuver because he does have more support on the issue of the budget and also on the foreign policy issues. >> right. and, you know, kristen, when we talk about afghanistan, for a long time it did not seem that we would end up at the potential zero option. it feels like this is really hamid karzai playing politics. and, you know, the president seems very resolute on this one. i think people forget when it came to the status force's agreement in iraq, he was willing to and did walk away because he didn't think he was going to get the deal that would be the best for our troops. so it seems like karzai is playing a little bit of a game
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here that i think i don't think he is going to win against barack obama. >> well, and some people think he is overplaying his hand, karen. and u.s. officials to your point are adamant about the fact that they are willing to employee the zero option if karzai doesn't sign on to this security agreement. of course, karzai saying he is going to leave that to his successor. the united states saying that's not good enough. i will also say that this recent drone strike, which has left a child dead, the united states, a u.s. commander apologizing for that is only straining this already very fraught relationship and very tense situation right now. i can also tell you, karen, that western officials who have traveled to the region, who have met with karzai and his advisers say that those who seem to be surrounding him are questioning what he is doing right now. so karzai potentially out on a limb underestimating the president. and also the american people. if you look at the polls, there is not a whole lot of support
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for keeping a strong troop presence in afghanistan. so i think you're right that the president's resolute. it's something he will do. >> you know, victoria, it's also we've seen and heard some on the left suggesting that the president should come back to congress with regard to troop levels. about kristen's point of this lack of desire to really maintain our troop levels in afghanistan. so it does seem that the president, he is playing with a pretty strong hand here. at the same time i think it's pretty clear that congress, at least democrats in congress do not want to see more of an involvement or maybe the least that we can absolutely get away with and still maintain the security there. >> absolutely. and the irony here with the issue of the afghanistan deal is hamid karzai said this drone strike is case in point why he didn't necessarily want an entrant to the deal. but if there is the zero option put into place, the u.s. will not have any military presence on the ground. >> right. >> and we're going to see more
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drone strikes. so that's the irony here. i do think, and i'm hopeful that we will eventually come to see a deal between the united states and afghanistan with congressional support. >> and i want to pivot to iran. i have sound from bob corker on face the nation. even when the president is trying to do something good, you know, the naysayers, they just can't pass up an opportunity to attack him. we'll take a listen and then i'll get your thoughts on the other side. >> okay. >> it's very difficult to understand that at the height of our leverage, we have six countries negotiating and the world behind us, we negotiated a deal of this nature. it's hard to see how you get to a place that meets the standard that we would want to meet at the end. >> you know, it just strikes me, this is something the president has talked about for a long time. we know that he has been working on this deal, not to just deflect from obama care, but actually, this is something that is important to him.
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and you got the iranians are saying they will -- they will have inspectors in just this week on the fifth. so in terms of the deal, at least the initial outline is moving forward, but there just does not seem to be any will to give the president even the slightest bit of let's see how this works. >> well, there is no doubt that there is an immense amount of skepticism when it comes to this deal with iron and also as you point out, karen, politics are at play. white house officials are urging members of congress behind the scenes to hold off on pushing for any more sanctions, even a deal which is being discussed, karen, or sanctions law that is being discussed that would essentially only kick in after it was determined that iran wasn't complying with this deal. white house officials will say anything that passed through congress of that nature could potentially undermine the deal right now.
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and they say look, they are skeptical of iran as well. and that is why they say this six-month first step is the right course. because, they say, there are inspectors there who are going to be checking iran as this process moves forward. i think that's really the intention right now, trying to get congress to hold off on any more sanctions. >> i think this week we will have our first glimpse at how that shakes out. thanks very much. >> thanks, karen. coming up, we're waiting a live ntsb press conference on the train derailment in new york city. we'll bring that to you live. and later, a few folks that every disrupter should be thankful for this year. ends to . while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief
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conference in just a minute when it begins. still ahead, do you think that karl rove's secret donors are primarily engaged in social welfare? the architect and other big money groups may soon have to follow a new set of rules. and later, my disrupter of the week. a colleague and a friend who had the courage to share her own personal story to help a young woman get justice. my asthma's under control. i get out a lot... except when it's too cold. like the last three weekends. asthma doesn't affect my job... you missed the meeting again last week! it doesn't affect my family. your coughing woke me up again. i wish you'd take me to the park. i don't use my rescue inhaler a lot... depends on what you mean by a lot. coping with asthma isn't controlling it. test your level of control at, then talk to your doctor. there may be more you could do for your asthma. step two, baconated cheese for awesome. step three, get ready to wow.
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what has karl rove ever done to improve the social welfare of the united states? that's what these shadowy organizations are supposed to do. that's what their charter says. his organization, rowe's organization has one purpose and one purpose only, and that's to defeat democrats. anyone who thinks otherwise is being willfulfully foolish. >> to no one's surprise, harry reid was absolutely right.
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social welfare organizations called 501-c4's often referred to as dark money groups don't have to disclose their donors and they receive special tax exemption franchise they can show that a majority of their time is spent on largely undefined social welfare activity instead of politics. remember, crossroads gps? as we know from the center for public integrity, the group was cofounded by bush's brain, karl rove. it was one of the biggest spenders in trying to influence the outcome of the 2012 election. but as the nonprofit reported this week, rove's group may have been less than honest about how much money they actually spent on political activity. quote, new tax documents made public last tuesday indicate that at least 11.2 million of the grant money given to the group americans for tax reform by crossroads gps was spend on political activities expressly advocating for or against candidates. now, that's $11 million more than the $75 million rove's
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group told the irs it spent on political activities in 2012. this week, the obama administration proposed new rules aimed at decreasing the influence of groups like crossroads gps on the right, and even the league of conservation voters on the left, by tightening the definitions of political versus nonpolitical activity. it will require groups to be more careful about how the money is spent and how the money is reported. it's an issue that the president talked about at the beginning of the gop's phony irs scandal several months ago. >> we're going to have to make sure that the laws are clear so that we can have confidence that they're enforced in a fair and impartial way. and there is not too much act ambiguity surrounding these laws. >> guess what? this week's moves were met with criticism from the right, including house oversight chair darrell issa who called it a crass political effort by the administration to get what political advantage they can
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when they can. right. okay. joining me maine now to discuss politics reporter for "the washington post," jackie kucinich, and from -- i'm sorry, and political editor for >> well, that's true. >> i just did the teleprompter today is not with us. perry bacon, thank you for joining me, guys. i just want to point out that we are awaiting that ntsb press conference. so forgive me if i end up having to cut you off if we have to go to that. i want to start, though, with you, perry, in talking about sort of this organization, you know, the crossroads gps. because in many ways it sort of is emblematic as to why the rules need to be changed. sort of what defines social welfare activity is pretty loose. >> it's incredibly loose. to the point where you can't really tell what it means at all. you had in 2012, 28 groups which spent more than a million
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dollars on election activity. and almost -- most of them are conservative. and most of them are doing things which you couldn't tell a difference between them, the social welfare group. >> right. >> and a political operation. and that's what the change. it's not like big money is leaving politics because you can still give money to superpacs as well. >> right. >> what the administration wants to do, they want to make sure 501-c4s are not as powerful. superpacs have to say who gives money to them. 501-c4's don't. that's what president obama wants to encourage. >> the operation is considered to be operated exclusively for the social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting some way the common good and general we feel of the community. that's according to jackie, crossroads gps, common good and general welfare of the community? not sure that that definition flies. >> well, and that's one of the
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things this new irs rule does not do. it does not say how much they can engage in this political activity. it didn't say generally right now it's accepted that 51% should be toward these social welfare activities. and the 49% can be for these other activities. >> right. >> the new rule doesn't make that designation. which is why you have a lot of groups that are for campaign finance reform say this is a step in the right direction. >> sure. >> but it doesn't fix the problem yet. >> although, perry, it does strike me, one of the big things it does attempt to try to do at least is start to clean up some of what these definitions are, some of -- because one of the things they found in the story this week about crossroads gps, for example, they're finding that groups, you can give one pot of money to one group and you call it one thing over here. and you give money over there and call it another thing. and in the definition to your
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irs records to what you call the ftc. that's where the definition of records comes in. >> under the old rules, the rules that exist now, american crossroads can give money to a political group, but say that's not political spending because they didn't spend it themselves. >> perry, i'm going have to interrupt you. we're going to governor cuomo at the ntsb presser on this train derailment from earlier today. >> the mta will be cooperating fully with the ntsb in this investigation. the mta wants to know as much as anyone what happened with this accident, if there is a lesson to be learned, because safety is job one. we want to see the trains perform and perform on time. but safety is job one. so any lessons to be learned from this tragedy is what we want to know. and that's basically the purpose of the ntsb's investigation on-site. once the ntsb is finished with
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their investigation, then the site will be turned over to the mta to actually commence repair work. there is a crane that is now en route that will right the trains, which will be part of the investigation and part of the review of the site. but only once the ntsb is finished with the investigation can the mta seriously start to fix the tracks. the mta will be updating people periodically as to what the schedule will be for the repairs and the return of service. i think it's fair to say that tomorrow people who use this line should plan on a long commute or plan on using the harlem line. but is where you can go for the most recent information on service. i want to thank all the first responders who have been heroic all day long.
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new york city police department, the fire department, the mta, the amtrak, colleagues from the federal government were here very early, and really performed admiralbly. the emergency services in this state i believe are second to none. unfortunately, we've had too much experience in emergency service over the past couple of years with weather related incidents, et cetera. but on day like today, the first responders are truly a blessing. also, as this day comes to a close, what's most important is we lost four new yorkers this morning. we have 11 who are critically injured who are still in the hospitals. and i would ask all new yorkers to remember them in your prayers tonight. it's most unfortunate that this comes during the holiday season. and i think it's a reminder to all of us that life is a precious gift. take every day as exactly that. as a gift. because every day is precious.
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with that, i'll turn it over to mr. winter from the ntsb who is a board member who is going to be conducting the investigation. thank you. >> thank you, governor. as the governor said, my name is earl waner. the investigators from the ntsb arrived onscene today about 12:30. the ntsb is an independent federal agency charged with congress of investigating all aviation accidents and significant accidents in rail, marine and pipeline. we also issue safety recommendations to avoid having the same accidents again. before i go any further, on behalf of the ntsb, i'd like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this tragic accident. here is the factual information
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that we have at this point in time. at approximately 7:20 this morning, a metrolink -- a metro north railroad train was derailed. the train was en route from poughkeepsie to grand central station. the entire train, seven cars and locomotive were all derailed. preliminary reports we've received from the emergency services indicate that there were numerous -- several fatalities and numerous injuries. accurate information in that regard can be obtained from the new york city office of medical -- the chief medical examiner.
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the investigator in charge is mr. mike flanagan. mr. flanagan has had 35 years of experience in the rail investigation business. he'll be leading a multidisciplinary team. that team -- that team involves several subteams. there will be an organizational meeting tonight to form up the teams. there will be a track team, which will look at the condition of the tracks. leading to the point of derailment. try to identify any anomalies. there will be a signals team looking at the condition of the signaling system. and hopefully looking for any possible data that might have been recorded by the signaling system. the mechanical equipment team will be looking at the passenger cars, the braking, the condition of the mechanicals, looking for
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the data from the event recorders. the operations team will be looking at what procedures were in place and how those procedures had been followed. the human performance team will be looking at the performance of the train crew and identifying any anomalies therein. and finally, survival factors team will be documenting the interior of the cars and trying to understand exactly how people were injured or killed. there will be an organization meeting this evening in which these teams will be formed. the parties -- to the investigation will include the federal railway administration, the new york public transportation safety board, metro north railroad, the teamsters, who represent the maintenance of way organization employees, and the association
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of commuter rail employees. we will also involve the emergency response organization. as the governor mentioned, we realize that this is a very important railway for commuters in the new york area. we've already okayed the uprighting of the locomotives to stop the fuel spill. we've also okayed the uprighting of the cars that are on the side to look for any possible further injury/fatalities. we will be documenting the interiors of the cars so that we can understand the crash worthiness. we'll be documenting the condition of the rolling stock, the trucks, the littleway tracks, et cetera. following this documenting of the perishable evidence, we will then turn the rails over to metro north, who will then
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rerail and get to the line back in operation. throughout this we'll be working closely with the new york police department, fire department, and office of emergency management. in addition to our investigators we have specialists from the office of transportation disaster assistance who will be working with the metro north railroad and the new york city office of emergency management. throughout the next few days, our investigators will work on scenes to thoroughly document the accident scene, gathering the factual information. our mission is to understand not just what happened, but why it happened with the intent of preventing it from happening again. we expect to be on scene for a week to ten days.
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. obviously since we're just beginning the investigation, we don't is a a great deal of other information to report. however, we will keep you informed with regular press briefs. for the latest information, we encourage you to follow us on twitter at on our website. one final comment. i would like to thank the first responders for their efforts in this accident. i'd be happy to take a few questions. >> can we ask you about concern about maintenance and repair on this line? i know the governor has had some concern. same question to you and the governor. what has been your concern about that within the mta if they complied with what you wanted? >> so the question is are we really going to be looking at the maintenance. yes, we are going to be looking at maintenance records. of the rails, the cars as well as personnel records.
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in addition to maintenance records. >> governor, what is your concern been about? >> i think this is an opportunity for the ntsb to review the entire operation, review this accident, all the procedures. as i said before, safety is job one. and if there is a lesson to learn from this tragedy, we want to make sure that we learn it. we're probably most eager to hear the reports of the ntsb investigation. whatever it is. >> have you spoken to the conductor? >> we have not spoken to the conductor. we anticipate interviewing the train crews in the next day or two. >> there was another derailment near this spot in july. what concern do you have that this happened so close to that last derailment, and could the two be related at all? >> the question is this derailment associated with the derailment i believe the freight train in july. and the answer is we'll be
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looking at that, but at this point in time we have no indication that it's -- that it's a factor. >> do we know how the train was being pushed? was it pushed from the back, the engine? >> what was the configuration of the train? the train was being pushed from the back of the train. >> did that cause a derailment? would that cause any problems for it to derail? >> we will certainly be looking at any contribution that may have had in the derailment. >> is it hard to apply the brakes on a train when it's being pushed from the back, the train operator said he tried to apply the brakes, they just wouldn't apply. have you heard anything about that? or just knowing how the trains work. >> the question is could that configuration have been a factor? and the answer is we don't know at this point. we'll be looking at it. >> was there what? >> the train was being pushed
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with a diesel locomotive from the back of the train. >> but there was no neng the front? >> there is no engine in the front. those are unpowered cars from a traction point of view, yes. >> do we know if the signals were functioning -- >> if the cap signals. >> do we know if the cab signals were functioning properly. at this point it's too early to tell but we will certainly look at. well, we've had a chance to thoroughly look over the scene and start documenting the condition of the rails. start documenting the condition of the cars. and then night fell. >> how fast was it going? >> how concern ready you with this big curve? this is the second accident. there was one in july. are you worried about this curve is? and maybe speed was possibly a factor here? >> that is the question. the curve has been here for many, many years, right. and trains take the curve every day, 365 days a year.
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so it's not the fact that there is a curve here. there is a curve here. the hudson river hits the harlem river. so we've always had this configuration. we didn't have accidents, right? so there has to be another factor. and that's what we want to learn from the ntsb. if there is a change that the mta can make, great. that's what it's all about. but first we have to get the results of the investigation before we know what we're trying to fix, if anything. but it can't just be the curve. that in and of itself is not the answer. yes, there was a situation a few months back with a freight train, but that is in the same general area, but not the same specific area. so we'd have no reason to believe those two things are related either. but i do want to thank the ntsb for their speedy response. and as i said, the mta will fully cooperate. i've spoken to them about that. anything the ntsb needs, they'll
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get from the mta. and when they're finished with their investigation, we'll proceed accordingly. thank you. >> thank you. >> that was an ntsb press conference with new york governor andrew cuomo regarding the train derailment this morning. a this point we know four deaths, a dozen injured, including 11 in critical condition. we'll be right back just after this. 6 children, 44 years... it's been a happy union. he does laundry, and i do the cleaning. there's only two of us...
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that's going to do it for me. thank you so much for joining us. please keep it here on msnbc for updates on the train derailment. and don't forget to share your thoughts. find us on facebook and tweet us at msnbc/disrupt. i will see you back here next saturday. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays. cheryl burke is cha-cha-ing in depend silhouette briefs for charity, to prove that with soft fabric and waistband, the best protection looks, fits, and feels just like underwear. get a free sample and try for yourself.
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